Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Art Down to Earth: Carla Jupiter

Carla Denise is an artist that keeps her art down to earth.  She describes it as soulful and funky...
expressionism with an urban edge to which people can not only relate, but also access. 

She started taking her art serious in 2000.  After moving into a new home, the bare walls overwhelmed her; thus, creating her first painting--a three piece abstract. It quickly became a conversation piece to everyone who visited.  She has been painting every since!

Expressing the beauty in life through paintings, her art is influenced by fashion and patterns.  She works with acrylics, blending color, shape, and form; celebrating the love of life; dreaming; long summer days; friendship;  roots; learning; and positive growth. "Each piece of art carries with it, a moment, thought, or emotion, through it’s vibrant liveliness and movement, concentrating in the area of all things positive..  Everything is and will always be painted in a positive light," says Jupiter.

May her next piece of art be for you!  Carla Jupiter is a 2011 Making HerStory participant.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Rising Pheonix: Jade Andwele

Jade Andwele is a visual artist, writer, crafter, poet, and performer who focuses on healing and community building through multi-dimensional art and creativity.  As an alum of the University of Virginia (Women’s Studies & African American Studies) and Howard University Graduate School (Sociology), Jade fuses her scholarly background with the arts to advocate for women, the Black community, and youth with a focus on social justice, and sexual and mental health. She is an active playwright and performance artist as a founding member of the award winning theater company The Saartjie Project in Washington DC.  

Jade recently founded the Community He(ART) Project, an arts organization, through which she facilitates creativity workshops and community programs in Virginia. Jade is also a rising graduate student at the Eastern Virginia Medical School where she is completing requirements to become a licensed Art Therapist. When she is not creating and performing, Jade can be found playing at the beach with her pit bull, Nyia. Jade is a 2011 Making HerStory participant.  Learn my about Jade by visiting www.jadeandwele.com.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Coloring Outside the Lines: Shawn Yancy is Making HerStory

"I don't believe in coloring between the lines,"
Many years ago, when we first met Shawn Yancy, it was by chance that we gained a first glance at some of her early art.  We were in shear awe that our favorite local news personality was one of us: an artist.  The scale of her work was unbelievable in size and complexity and we were instant fans.  Making HerStory is elated to boast that it was our platform on which Shawn made her artistic debut. 

An award winning journalist, Shawn Yancy anchors FOX 5 News at 5 and 10pm. When she's not telling people's stories on the news, she's telling her own stories through her art. Her most recent mixed media collection was shown through the Art Registry for Dress for Success DC. “It was an exploration of techniques and mediums. It evolved into a collaboration of moods and emotions,” says Yancy.

Shawn has been drawing, painting and creating as long as she can remember. She lives in Maryland with her husband and three sons.  This marks her 3rd season supporting Making HerStory.  She is currently planning a new exhibition slated to open in June 2011 at the well known Washington Design Center.  On Sunday March 20, she will join the H6 team by moderating a panel discussion following the screening of "Who Does She Think She Is," at the Center for Green Urbanism; 2pm; Free.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"Mouth Music:" Stephanie Renee

March 1st marked the beginning of Women's History Month.  The HerStory girls wore their Alice Paul "Jailed for Freedom" pins to get in the spirit.  It also marked the opening of "Making HerStory 6: the era of our dreams."  On Friday night, tucked away quietly in relax mode at the opening reception in the Tubman-Mahan Gallery, was vocalist Stephanie Renee.  The tweets began to flow, Stephanie Renee was in the building...and rightfully so; because, she is making herstory.  

Stephanie Renee makes no apologies for her lifelong immersion in the arts and embraced her destiny early--as most of her family remembers (though convincing them that this is how she would earn her living would be a bit more difficult). An accomplished singer/songwriter, journalist, broadcast producer, actor, arranger/composer, educator, filmmaker, and poet, Stephanie is always looking for the next creative mountain to climb. Her latest a cappella EP, "MOUTH MUSIC," is her third solo recorded effort and joins a long list of appearances on other successful releases with such artists as Steal Vybe, Marlon D, Opolopo, Patti LaBelle, and Jill Scott. Her next project is a series of short films tracking her family’s impressive century-old legacy in entertainment, titled THE EMBASSY.  Stephanie joins the line up of events for the sixth annual Making HerStory celebration with an EP launch party in celebration of the release of "Mouth Music," on Thursday March 10, 2011 at the Center for Green Urbanism, 3938 Benning Road, NE at 6:30pm.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Light a Fuse: Mary Nichols aka DJ FUSION!

Mary Nichols, also known as, DJ Fusion, is a Radio, Mixtape, and Club DJ,  whose main musical focus is the Urban Music Genre (Hip-Hop, Reggae, Funk, Jazz, Soul/R&B, House, Disco, Electronica, Rock, Disco, World Music, etc.), on the independent and mainstream level.

Nichols founded the syndicated FuseBox Radio Broadcast in 1998 to be a media outlet that consistently exposes the absolute BEST of Hip-Hop and Soul Music  from all over the world along with bringing quality interviews, news, and commentary. Along with fellow co-host,DJ, Producer, and Partner Jon Judah, who joined FuseBox in 2004, the FuseBox Radio Broadcast works daily to fulfill its mission and bring great sounds, vibes, and content to the masses.

From its original roots at Rutgers University Radio, the syndicated FuseBox Radio Broadcast is a 3 hour mixshow that has spread to over 25+ international FM & Internet Radio stations and website outlets <http://www.blackradioisback.com/p/fusebox-radio-broadcast.html>  as of February 2011.

The business FuseBox Media LLC was founded by DJ Fusion & Jon Judah in the mid-2000s to expand on their radio show ventures as well as work with other media extensions (including the official syndicated FuseBox Radio Blog, BlackRadioIsBack.com <http://www.blackradioisback.com/>  - an updated re-visioning of their original Exit9HipHop.com site), music production, mixtape hosting and more. Mary Nichols is also a freelance writer, speaker, and panelist.  She is a 2011 Making HerStory participant.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Suzanne Njeri Tetu: Biography

"Purple Maiden"

Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, Suzanne Njeri Tetu has been involved with the visual, performing and literary arts since early childhood.  Relocating to the United States in the mid- 1990s to pursue her creative goals, Suzanne has avidly studied and engaged in the disciplines of drawing, painting, sculpture, dance, theater, literature, and creative writing. 

A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, New York Film Academy, and a certified Kukuwa Dance Workout instructor, Suzanne enjoys all forms of creative expressionism with a passion for the studio arts.  During her time in the United States, Suzanne has embarked on a variety of endeavors ranging from commissioned portraits to illustrating book covers and storyboards. 

In 2010 she established her art business presenting to the world all that is "Exclusively, Njeri!"  Suzanne is a 2011 HerStory participant.

Hot Projects in the Works 2011
  • Calvert County Student Art Show, Visual Arts Judge                        
  • Creative Quarantine with artist Larry Poncho Brown
  • Commission pieces, child portrait
  • Commission piece, church history painting

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Image of a Dancer: Tawana Alston in her owns works

"Who am I?  I often ask myself the same question.  They call me Tawana Alston.  The applely core of me exists in being Woman, Wife, and Mother of three beauties.  Never before have I truly thought of myself as an artist, but the artistry is woven and intertwined in my heart and head."

Now let’s talk about dance.  My passion for dance began as a child about the age of 5.  I was like most other little girls dreaming of becoming a superstar...Envisioning myself in a classical ballet like Swan Lake.  Thank you mom for helping me connect those early dots.  She put me in studio dance classes.  It was then when I developed the appreciation, but wasn’t ready to go the real disciplined route.   I became an observer of sorts.  It was not until I joined the Ebenezer A.M.E  [Ft. Washington, MD] Dance Ministry that I felt dance in my heart.  It was total reciprocity; Jesus was in and ministry through dance poured out.  At the applely core of me, liturgical and interpretive dance seeds were planted firmly.  But on this journey I found respect for dance as an art form.  Ballet is so necessary…..good discipline! Like Alvin Ailey is to black dance.  Modern and lyrical technique is the dance space that comes natural for me.  You may see inflections of hip-hop in my choreography.  Hip hop takes a shape of its own….steeped in its culture. Young people have it down….as I watch them ticking, locking, popping, jerks/rejerks & choreoing it until the judges say that was the best or that needs work ….Still willing to conquer that New Age stuff though.
My inspiration to dance and choreograph comes from music.  I usually internalize the rhythms and lyrics to to the songs.  I find balance with movements until they take shape.  They help me keep order amid the attention-deficit life of teaching.   The finished product usually tells a story.  But to smooth out the elements of these 2 worlds, I birthed a new baby called Parallel Visions, LLC.  This is my dance company, a place where I can work out this artsy business.  Currently, I am a part of the Production Staff at Renaissance Christian Academy, a freelance dancer, and a choreographer."  

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

She's Making HerStory: Anike Robinson...in her own words

"As an artist, writer, high school teacher, and activist, I look for opportunities to educate people through a variety of methods. I am an advocate for diversity in the arts, the classroom, and the media. I was raised during an era when South Africa still had the shackles of apartheid tied to its feet; supported and paid for by American dollars. Even as a young student, I learned firsthand how to organize, educate, and disseminate information about Apartheid and other issues of concern. By watching and working with TransAfrica, I learned how protests, film festivals, and fundraisers could rally support and influence public opinion. In the 1980’s, constant and accurate media coverage and the challenge of organizing people in support of sanctions against Apartheid helped to open the prison doors of Nelson Mandela and hundreds of other freedom fighters imprisoned on Robin Island. So what does this have to do with me as an artist and creator of Sweetroot?

Almost twenty years later, the lessons learned about local and national politics have served me well as an artist. My work incorporates prose, wood, resin, found objects, and other materials to tell stories. My first collection entitled, "The Memoir Series," included 14 paintings ranging from 20”x20” to 20”x 60” in size. This collection chronicles my life as a child growing up inside the household of an activist.

My latest work explores the world of myth, magic, and the overlapping worlds of religion and the unseen world.  The unseen world, that seems fused to my dreams, blooms in my waking life in the form of mixed media paintings, talisman, and objects."

Anike Robinson is a supporter of Making HerStory and is a 2011 participant.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Center for Green Urbanism-DC Host of 2011 Making HerStory

Established in 2010, the Center for Green Urbanism (CGU) is a 3,200-square foot facility located in Washington, DC’s Ward 7 on the edge of Fort Mahan Park, a national park site and gateway to the Fort Circle Park Trail.  The mission of CGU is to create a business-friendly environment that provides small to midsize businesses with affordable office space and services in a sustainable and energy-efficient “green” demonstration facility. CGU is the brainchild of environmentalist and photographer, Zandra Chestnut, along with husband, Dennis Chestnut, a Washington, DC community leader and Executive Director of Groundwork Anacostia River, DC.

What’s CGU all about?

An Environmental Model
·         Powered with energy-efficient compact fluorescent lighting and appliances and solar shade window treatments
·         Purified drinking water system and other water-saving devices
·         Eco-friendly interior design ( windows and wall coverings) by Design Scheme Interiors
·         Aggressive recycling and reuse practices

A Business Incubator
·         Offering short and long-term office space for small to mid-size organizations and start-ups
·         Spacious conference room and event space with a 120 person capacity
·         Wireless Internet
·         Network fax and copy machine

A Fusion Between Green Urbanism and Art
·         Home of the Tubman-Mahan Art Gallery, named after Harriett Tubman and Dennis Mahan
·         Year-round art exhibits, many focusing on Sustainable Art projects.

Monday, January 24, 2011

***Special Exhibition***
Making HerStory 6
Call for Entrants:
Image of the Dreamer Makers
Baltimore, MD

The Art with Joe Series at Peace & a Cup of Joe CafĂ©, with the Thickart Collaborative, in conjunction with Making HerStory 6: the era of our dreams,” presents “Image of the Dream Makers,” a pictorial celebration of women in the arts.

Making HerStory celebrates the vast and diverse forms of creativity offered by women artists. This year’s focus is found in a renewed energy among many of the artists in the Making HerStory family.  HerStory 6 is about collaboration, growth, and sustainability.  “Image of the Dream Makers,” celebrates the women artists who contribute to the fabric of our history through their creativity.  This exhibition is unique in that it celebrates women in all forms of art—not just those who create 2-D work.  Its focus is on the women who create the art, not just the art itself.  Women artists will be celebrated from all genres in this exhibition: visual art, literary arts, culinary arts, music arts (signer, songwriter, producer, etc), theater arts (playwright, actress, director, light tech, etc), and the list goes on and on.  If this call reaches you and you think you’re an artist, you probably are.

We are seeking electronic submissions of individual “self-portraits.”  Self-portraits can be traditional self-portraiture, images taken by another, or a graphic.  Images should be submitted in JPEG format, preferably 300dpi.  Portraits should date no further back than 2009. 

Exhibition Dates
Exhibition dates are March 4 – April 16, 2011. As part of “Making HerStory,” there will be a Tea to celebrate this exhibition on Saturday April 2, 2011 at Peace & a Cup of Joe.
Entry Details
Interested participants shall submit an expression of interest of up to three (3) JPEGs (a resolution of at least 300 dpi prefered) of Portraits to herstory@thickart.com.  The curator will select one image for use in the exhibition.  Entrant should also fill out and return the attached form with biographical data.  There is NO FEE to participate in this celebration.  Portraits are for exhibition purposes only and will not be for sale. 

Expressions of interest must be received by February 11, 2011 to be considered.  However, early entry is encouraged. 

For Additional Information:
Contact Michelle d. Parrish at mik@thickart.com

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Washington, DC Call for Art!

Call for Art:
Making HerStory 6: the era of our dreams”
Washington, DC

The ThickArt Collaborative, LLC, in conjunction with Authentic Contemporary Art and The Center for Green Urbanism (Washington, DC), seeks submissions for Making HerStory 6: the era of our dreams.”

Making HerStory celebrates the vast and diverse forms of creativity offered by women artists. This year’s focus is found in a renewed energy among many of the artists in the Making HerStory family.  HerStory 6 is about collaboration, growth, and sustainability.  As 2011 marks the beginning of a new decade, we have coined this new season “the era of our dreams.”  In the spirit of collaboration, TAC is proud to come together again with Authentic Contemporary Art in co-curating this exhibit.

We are seeking submissions of two-dimensional original artwork in any medium that embodies the artist’s reflection on the theme, “the era of our dreams.” All artwork must be no larger than 30″W x 30″H in size and must be properly wired and ready to hang.  Unframed works should have neatly finished edges.

Exhibition Dates
Exhibition dates are March 4 – 31, 2011. The Grand Opening Reception is scheduled for Friday, March 4, 2011, at the Center for Green Urbanism, Tubman-Mahan Gallery.
Entry Details
Interested participants shall submit an expression of interest of up to three (3) JPEGs (a resolution of at least 300 dpi prefered) of artwork you propose to include in Making HerStory to herstory@thickart.com.

Expressions of interest must be received by February 11, 2011 to be considered.  However, early entry is encouraged. 

Artists selected to exhibit will be notified no later than February 16, 2011; however, notification may be provided on a rolling basis from the issuance of this call.  There will be a $25 hanging fee for selected artists to reserve their place. Installation is scheduled for February 26 & 27, 2011.  Instructions for delivery of work shall be included in notification.

Artwork is to be for sale at prices established by the artist. Artist will retain 70 percent of all sales.

For Additional Information:
Contact Michelle d. Parrish at mik@thickart.com

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

She's Making HerStory: Heather Schmaedeke

Heather Schmaedeke always been interested in art and loves being able to completely immerse herself in the art of creation.  "I feel like I have been transported into the work, it’s almost like mediation.  What I enjoy most is visual problem solving; working on the interplay of color, texture and medium in the pursuit of creating something new and unexpected," says Heather.   For Heather, it is important for each piece to have the space it needs to grow organically, and then react to each addition to the piece.  "This allows for a visual dialog between the different elements within the piece, while inviting the viewer to participate in this visceral dialog," she explains.
She likes to use a variety of mediums in different combinations.  Her choice of materials is married to the image that she creates.  In her own words, "...the subject matter determines the tools that I use to create each piece.  When I work in my studio, I am reminded of the spontaneity, variety and mystery that is woven into daily life, it is up to me to notice and savor it.  I begin my pieces by unwrapping and examining life’s little nuances and reacting to them as they unfold.  I know that a piece has been successfully completed, when the artwork has become more than just the sum of its parts."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2011: The Era of Our Dreams

"Making Herstory 6," is on the horizon. Our theme this year is, "the era of our dreams." We believe this to be a fitting theme as we transition into a new decade. As artists, we've faced many struggles in the last few years making our futures as artists sometimes unclear. But, we see a new energy arising from the ashes of the last decade and its time to reclaim our dreams.

This year, it is not just about the art. We will be focusing more on collaboration, growth, and sustainability. We are also expanding our idea of art and including other products born from the creartive process.

As always, HerStory is a celebration. We are Making HerStory everyday and this, indeed, is the era of our dreams.